Collective Action, Constituent Power, and Democracy: On Representation in Lindahl’s Philosophy of Law

Etica and Politica / Ethics and Politics 21 (3):383-390 (2019)
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This contribution develops two objections to Hans Lindahl’s legal philosophy, as exhibited in his Authority and the Globalization of Inclusion and Exclusion. First, his conception of constituent power overstates the necessity of violence in initiating collective action. Second, his rejection of the distinction between participatory and representative democracy on the grounds that participation is representation is misleading, and compromises our ability to differentiate qualitatively among various forms of (purportedly) democratic involvement. Both problems stem from the same root. They result from conflating two distinct senses of ‘representation’: acting-for-someone (or representative agency) and portraying-something-as-something (or representation-as).

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Thomas Fossen
Leiden University


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